Crashed Aircraft of WW2

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Marcel, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    There are aircraft wrecks from WW2 everywhere here in the Netherlands. Many have been found, but an estimated number of 1000 wrecks are still somewhere burried u der the soil. Occasionally some pop up.

    Last week I was driving with my wife over the dyke of the river Lek when I suddenly saw a Merlin engine on the side of the road. It's been left there as a memorial of a Halifax that crashed in the river in 1943.
    9724110318140336.jpg

    Today I found out that there is a possible crash site on the land of the company I work for. It's supposed to be a "small aircraft, possibly a fighter". Nationality is not known. Research with groundradar indicated an area of 15x15 meters with possible wreckage at 4 meter below ground. Now we'll have to persuade our employer to permit digging on the spot. Pretty exiting.

    On saturday I am planning to visit an excavation site of a Lancaster, near by. It was shot and hit by a nightfighter over Tiel and crashed at Werkendam, on the other side of the river from me. Last week the found the last missing crewmember, the tailgunner, still strapped in his place. Needless to say he will finally get a proper burial. I'll try to give a full report of my visit next week.
     
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  2. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking forward to what you can find out next week.
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great stuff Marcel. Looking forward to further up-dates.
     
  4. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Great thread Marcel! Looking forward to what you find out to!
     
  5. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good stuff Marcel! Looking forward to further updates.
     
  6. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Be careful Marcel.
     
  7. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Bring it on!
     
  8. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Shifting through my photo's, I found this one, a Bristal Pegasus engine from a Handley Page Hampden bomber, which was found in the Waddenzee. It's on display in the vlillage square on the little island of Vlieland. And yes, that's me looking smug next to it.
    IMG_0252.jpg
     
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  9. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Cool shot!
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    #10 GrauGeist, Nov 1, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
    Regarding the crash site at your work, any idea what the nationality of the aircraft might be:
    German - Allied?

    I know at my work (well, where I used to work before the wreck), our shop was built over the southern edge of a runway of a former airstrip...but no artifacts or anything cool laying around.
     
  11. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    No, it's unknown. Not much is known, apart from the fact that it must have been a rather small aircraft. It stayed visible for some time, the tail section sticking out. This tail is supposedly taken by an old-iron trader and stored in his shop. There are reports that it was still there after the war. In Januari this year, the Airforce got permission to scan the ground with groundradar. They found a spot, 15 by 15 meters, almost exactly where they expected it. Also small metal fragments were found in the soil, which could be from the aircraft.

    I requested more info from the guys who are investigating it. I would like to help them to get permission from my company to do research at the spot. We formed a group of 3 enthousiasts, willing to promote this within the company.
     
  12. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I visited the excavation of the Lancaster near Werkendam. It's about 10 km east of the City of Dordrecht.

    First a short background:
    On the night of 06-21-1944 to 06-22-1944, Lancaster mk.3 LM508 (SR-P) of 101 squadron joins an operation to the synthetic oli factory of Wesseling. On the way there, one of the engines is hit by FLAK, but they still press on and bomb Wesseling. On the way back, over Tiel, The Netherlands, they are attacked by a nightfighter, flown by lt Hans Schaeffer.. Missing one engine, the heavy lancaster is a sitting duck and the fuel tank is hit. The tailgunner sgt. John Keogh is also hit fatally in his turret and bomb-aimer sgt. Thomas Duff is heavily wounded. The crew decide to bail out. Duff dies later of his wounds. He is buried in the churchyard in the village. Keogh stays in the aircraft and was never recovered. The pilot, Pilot Officer Hingley breaks his back when landing against a concrete bridge. All remaining crew are captured. The bomber crashes south of Werkendam. Burning parts fall on a farmhouse, which catches fire. Luckily the whol family escapes unscaled.
    The Lancaster is been excavated because it is in a spot where a buildingsite is planned.

    I will continue later with pictures of found debris. but first of all, sgt John Keogh was found last week, still strapped in his tail turret. According one of the excavators, it was a 100% score, meaning that the found all of the body. He's been taken toe Soesterberg, where he will be properly identified and than properly buried with honour. May he rest in peace :salute:
    IMG_7512.jpg
     
  13. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    #13 Marcel, Nov 1, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
    Okay, some pictures.
    First the place where the lanc was found. The metal 'dams' are for keeping out the groundwater. It is on the edge of the Biesbosch, a very wet area, between several large rivers. The aircraft was pointed towards the fence you see here. This means it must have made a turn as it was facing east, pointing in the direction it had come from. The depth was about 6 meters (18 ft), but at places debris was found only 40 cm (3.3 ft) deep. They have been filling the hole again, so it is not so deep anymore.
    IMG_7523.jpg

    Where the little flag is, in the middle of the photo, is the place where John Keogh was found. He was still surrounded by a lot of live ammunition. Apparently he hadn't fired his gun much. The ammo has been taken to be destroyed.
    IMG_7524.jpg

    The found containers full of debris, mainly plating. I tried to take a photo of it.
    IMG_7522.jpg
     
  14. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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  15. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    #15 Marcel, Nov 1, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
    Frame number of this lanc:
    IMG_7502.jpg

    Tire of the tail-wheel:
    IMG_7501.jpg

    Dinghy, the sign says: "extendible mast for lifeboat:
    IMG_7508_01.jpg

    Fire extinguishers and oxygen tanks, in the front, an escape axe. Somewhere in the middle is a first aid kit. Also portable tanks can be seen.
    IMG_7509_01.jpg

    The toilet. Does anyone know where this was located in the aircraft?
    IMG_7515.jpg
     
  16. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Marcel, to the best of my knowledge, the Elsan sat in the after-section of the Lancaster, near the tail-gunner's position. Perhaps one of the guys here who is better versed with the Lanc can give better details.

    I also seem to recall hearing somewhere, that the bomber crew would sometimes jettison the contents of the Elsan along with their bombload when they were over their target.
     
  17. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    I believe you're right Dave. I've got a book showing it located in the middle of the aisle, right in front of the tailplane spar.

    Geo
     
  18. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Should have posted this thread in the aviation section as it all fits in there. Ah well....

    Want to finish the part about the lancaster excavation near my house.
    Pictures of the engines.

    IMG_7488.jpg

    IMG_7495.jpg

    IMG_7496.jpg

    IMG_7500.jpg

    IMG_7487.jpg

    Supercharger:
    IMG_7514.jpg

    Parachute of sgt Keogh. Sadly not used.
    IMG_7510.jpg
     
  19. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Interesting stuff Marcel!
     
  20. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    Talked to the guy who found out about the aircraft at my work. He's willing to share the data he has. We're planning on writing an article in the company's magazine. We would like them to authorise a small excavation, so we could identify the aircraft. The area which gives a good signal is 15 by 6 meters. It's possible to make a narrow hole at a specific spot to retrieve some material, hopefully with some serial numbers on it. At least we could identify what aircraft it is. Up until now, no records have been found about a lost single engined aircraft at that spot in that timeframe. Any suggestions are welcome. When I know more, I'll start a thread about it in the aviations section.
     
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